Ezra 6 Commentary
“Who authorized you,” Tettenai had asked. Israel’s response to this question was reported at length in Tettenai’s letter to emperor Darius. It wasn’t exactly like he believed Israel but you guess he hoped Israel’s outrageous response would shock Darius into a no-look decision to halt Israel.
Tettenai’s letter was read and a search was made in the archives.
Who could have guessed what happened next? The enemy Tettenai became the most important enabler for the temple project. The emperor ordered that every support possible be given towards the temple works. Tettenai and his officials were specifically ordered to keep away from the temple, but instead, supply all that was required to complete the works.
Tettenai had planned to disrupt the works on the temple of the LORD. But through Tettenai’s intervention, the LORD had worked out this chess game to perfection. An enemy became an important ally. It’s like you are reading about the New Testament God who, in all things, works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
What had looked like a very bad visit was actually the means by which the LORD supplied His people with resources to complete the temple works. Who can understand the workings of the LORD?
So we read about the completion of the temple works in this chapter. It is also dedicated but without the physical manifestation of the presence of the LORD, like in former times. It is a quiet event. It leaves the saint thinking that there is more to wait for.
The Passover is celebrated. Its significance here is tightly linked with the thought of a free nation. Israel is celebrating the salvation of the LORD. But we fully understand the nearly muted tone of the narration. Israel is still under the authority of another nation. At least they can worship their God from the temple.
The saint finds himself under similar conditions. There are physical authorities over our heads. The days of David leading the worship band are long gone. Instead, we have leaders presiding over ungodly structures and immoral laws. But the Kingdom of the great king is here, accept it is not of this world. The saint can reflect on these very important facts.
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